Why Are Running Shoes So Expensive?

If you are a runner, you probably already know that running shoes are always priced higher than regular shoes. But if you are new to running and don't know where to start, you might be astonished by the gap in the price range. So, it makes one wonder why are running shoes so expensive.

Before diving into the reasons why running shoes are more costly than regular shoes, let's look at the differences first. Running shoes are designed to prevent injuries; therefore, they will have more foam, arch, cushioning heel counter, and outsole.

All these things are costly and will make the value of the shoe go upward.

What Makes Running Shoes Expensive?

Even though you can use regular shoes for running, they aren’t the most appropriate, and the risk of injuries and damage to the shoes is rife. Running shoes are comfortable for running long distances and also help you with your running technique.

Here are the top three reasons that make running shoes expensive.

1. Shoe Brand

Hoka brand running shoe

When you dive into the market to find the best pair of running shoes, you will be surprised by how many brands are out there. Therefore, the more popular brands have some of the most expensive running shoes.

Some shoe brands target a specific group of runners and customize the shoes for these audiences. For example, the Hoka shoe brand is among the best for athletes planning to run a marathon, and that’s why it can be costly.

Other shoe brands like Asics, Adidas, and Nike are popular brands that have shoes for everyone, which means you can get both expensive and affordable models.

2. Cushioning and Comfort

Comfortable Cushioned Running Shoes

Comfort is a huge aspect of all shoes and even so for running shoes. Cushioning makes a shoe comfortable, and this will help you bear the track elements when running a marathon or cross-country events.

For a beginner, the best running shoes are the ones that have more cushion, but as you get your running technique right, you might start looking for minimalist shoes.

However, not all shoes that have more cushioning or are expensive will be the best running shoes. Instead, choose shoes that fit you well to prevent injuries and enable you to run for longer periods without straining or risk of injuries.

3. Shoe Design

popular running shoe design

Running shoe technology keeps changing to make running smoother and safer for athletes. As a result, shoe manufacturing companies invest in research programs to find the perfect design for running shoes.

If the research and investment are costly, the end product will also be expensive to develop. A shoe design can be unique depending on the event or sport. For example, a trail running shoe requires durability, resistance to slips, and deep lugs that help you to run in extreme conditions.

When choosing a shoe, you must consider the event you are planning to use them for. For example, cross-country shoes aren’t the same as running on the track where the ground is even or on asphalt.

Overall, when you pick a shoe design, you should consider safety, speed, and protection from weather and outside elements.


Running shoes are among the first things you need to buy if you plan to launch a running career at any stage of your life. Of course, by now, you already know why running shoes are so expensive. But it doesn’t mean all expensive shoes are the best for running.

The ultimate goal of any running shoe should be to prevent injuries and make you feel comfortable when running so that you can enjoy the sport. The market is full of all kinds of shoes, and the cheaper option might be the one that works for you better than an expensive running shoe.

Sometimes a running shoe can be expensive because of features that don’t assist your running. For example, what use is a led light on the outsole of your running shoe when you are running a marathon in broad daylight?

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